Beltrami County District Court File No. K8-02-1001
Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Shumaker, Judge, and
Under the governing state statute, intentionally absconding from electronic monitoring while on intensive supervised release from a correctional facility constitutes escape from lawful custody.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Crippen, Judge*fn1
Appellant Lance Wickner challenges the judgment convicting him of escape. Although he acknowledges the governing statute specifically defines escape to include absconding from electronic monitoring, he contends he could not be convicted because the statute also contains an exception for parole violators. Because this exception does not deal with appellant's conduct, we affirm. And because the record does not permit review, we decline to address appellant's further assertion that his conviction resulted from vindictive prosecution.
Appellant was released from the St. Cloud correctional facility under the intensive-supervised-release program in early November 2000. Because he was released earlier than originally scheduled, appellant was placed in a motel room that was not modified to allow the electronic monitoring to fully function. Robert Christie, appellant's supervising agent, plugged the base unit into the phone jack knowing that while it would still monitor appellant's whereabouts, it would not notify the central computer if he exceeded the specified distance from the base unit or if he removed the bracelet.
On November 9, 2000, Christie stopped in to check on appellant, but appellant was not in his room, and Christie determined that appellant had cut his bracelet. Appellant had not been given permission to leave his room or to cut the bracelet. Christie obtained an arrest warrant.
Nineteen months later, appellant was charged with one count of escape from lawful custody under Minn. Stat. § 609.485 (2000). After a jury found him guilty, the trial court sentenced appellant to a 13-month commitment, to run consecutively to another sentence.
Did the trial court err when it concluded, as a matter of statutory construction, that the parole exception in Minn. Stat. § ...